“‘Lost debt’ cases present a unique type of claim. They allege ‘a RICO violation whose central purpose [i]s to prevent the collection of a claim or judgment.’ The substantive RICO violation is the act of preventing collection. And the plaintiff’s injury is the inability to collect the lawful debt. So, when the plaintiff successfully recovers that debt, it is no longer lost. And because that unrecovered debt is the only source of the plaintiff’s injury, there is no RICO claim in its absence. As a result, a plaintiff cannot rely on its lost debt to animate a RICO suit after it has recovered that debt. The ‘debt is “lost” and thereby
becomes a basis for RICO trebling only if the debt (1) cannot be collected (2)
“by reason of” a RICO violation.’ ‘In other words, to the extent of a successful collection, the RICO claim is abated pro tanto, prior to any application of trebling.’” HCB Fin. Corp. v. McPherson, No. 20-50718 (Aug. 4, 2021) (citations omitted). Put another way: “There must be independent damages to treble; the possibility of treble damages alone cannot confer statutory RICO standing.”
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